The Best Horse Treats You Haven’t Thought Of

There’s something so rewarding about the way a horse looks at us post-ride, eagerly awaiting their treats after putting forth their best efforts. We hate to disappoint them, so here is a list of ideas to give your horse as a treat if you’re looking to mix things up from the standard mints, carrots, and store-bought horse treats.

 1. Granola Bars

Granola bars are full of ideal ingredients for horse treats, and you don’t have to spend any time baking. Specifically, Nature Valley granola bars, which we all love to hate because of their crumbly consistency, are an ideal post-show or post-ride snack for your horse. An added bonus is, if you like them too, there is one bar for each of you to enjoy inside each packet. Horses don’t care if they leave crumbs in their stalls, and you can always let them lick the crumbs off your hand as an extra reward. If your horse really takes a liking to these granola bars, stock up on them in bulk at Costco!

2. Fruit

 

Everyone knows horses love apples, but have you tried offering your horse other fruit varieties? Many hors

es love bananas, and some will even eat the banana peel! Others

like oranges and some will even eat watermelon (including the rind on occasion). Be sure to check whether it’s safe before feeding your horse an unusual fruit, but in limited quantities most fruit makes for a great equine treat.

3. Pop-Tarts

Another snack you can occasionally share with your horse, Pop-Tarts are the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming for your horse. They’ll provide a boost of sugar and the contrasting textures will give your horse something to think about, too. An interesting trick would be to determine if your horse has a favorite flavor of Pop-Tart. Try a few flavors and see how your horse responds to each one.

4. Potato Chips

Potato chips aren’t something commonly thought of as a delicacy for horses, but they pack in all the elements horses are looking for. They’re salty, flavorful, and have that nice crunch horses seem to love. Just beware if you give your horse one potato chip out of your bag, they may expect many more as you finish your snack. You may want to bring two bags of chips to the barn.

5. Popsicles

Save these for those hot summer days to cool your horse down with an extra pop of flavor. You can buy popsicles in any flavor or even make frozen fruit bars at home for an extra serving of fruit for your horse. Just be careful they don’t also take the popsicle stick if they try to eat it in one bite!

6. Doughnuts

Not every horse will go for a doughnut, but some can down a whole doughnut in one bite. Maybe start small by purchasing a bag of doughnut holes to see if your horse likes them and to avoid too much sugar at once. Doughnuts can be a fabulous end-of-show dessert to thank your horse for a job well done.

Of course, not all horses are going to like every treat you offer them. Remember to always keep your horse’s health as the top priority by staying on top of ingredient lists and monitoring for anything that may be harmful or that may upset your horse’s stomach.

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

4 Ways to Bring Your Horse with You Everywhere You Go

There are endless ways to honor the horses that leave prominent marks on our hearts and in our lives. You can spend a small fortune on commemorative items that showcase just how much you love your horse. But sometimes you just want something small you can keep with you at all times to always remember your heart horse(s), whether they’re still with you or they’ve moved on.

1. Keychains

There are so many ways to carry a piece of your horse with you jingling on your key ring everywhere you go. Some companies will make a keychain or jewelry out of your horse’s tail, so you can, quite literally, carry a piece of him and her. Others will make beautiful gold-plated name tags or acrylic imagery depicting your horse so you can see his or her face all the time.

2. Jewelry

Whether your jewelry style is minimalist or not-so-minimalist, you can always find a piece of jewelry that suits your taste to honor your beloved horse. You can even find something as simple as a charm for a bracelet or necklace with your horse’s first initial to wear every day. Equine-specific brands can put your horse’s full name on a bracelet to wear, and you can find even more options for unique jewelry customization just by searching marketplaces such as Etsy.

3. Belts

We’ve all seen the riders, both young and old, with belts that have more plates than belt loops featuring all the horses they’ve ridden and/or owned. This is a great way to carry each horse with you all the time, and could even help you remember all the valuable lessons they each taught every time you step into the show ring.

4. Phone cases

Growing increasingly popular are custom phone cases, depicting subject matter such as initials, imagery, and even custom artwork. If you’

re looking for something more subtle, some companies sell phone cases with a single initial, and others go all out by turning a photo of your beloved horse into digital art for the case. Nothing is more unique than putting your own horse’s face on the back of your phone!

Five Alternative Fitness Ideas for Riders

5 Alternative Fitness Routines for Riders

Five Alternative Fitness Ideas for Riders

Anyone who has ridden a sport horse can make the powerful argument that what we do is, in fact, a sport. We laugh off those who say the horse does all the work because we truly know what a full-body workout it can be and the strength and conditioning required to execute the sport successfully.

But even the fittest of riders need to complement their riding with other forms of exercise. Football players do yoga to keep them balanced and focused, so why shouldn’t riders work on outside exercises that aid them in their riding? Many riders already know their preferred workout method, but if you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas to expand your fitness routine outside of the saddle.

1. Pilates

Known for targeting specific muscles and utilizing smaller movements in order to strengthen the whole body, Pilates can be a great workout option for riders looking to gain strength all over. Small, repetitive movements can help solidify muscle memory and help stabilize your muscles to be a stronger and steadier rider. Many Pilates studios are offering online classes, and you can also find outdoor pop-up classes near you that foster social distancing and follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

2. HIIT

Any hunter/jumper rider knows the feeling of exiting the show ring completely winded, after a very intense, but short, two-minute workout. It’s hard to build endurance for those high-intensity moments in the ring since we can’t really replicate them outside of a show environment. That’s where High Intensity Interval Training can be your best friend (or worst enemy, depending on your workout style). Many gyms and trainers are offering virtual HIIT classes that help athletes get their heart rate up, then recover and repeat. These exercises feel like a ton of work, but they will increase your fitness level to a point where those jumping rounds will feel like light work.

3. Yoga

Though the exercises in yoga don’t translate directly to what you do when riding, the benefits of yoga are evident in many aspects of the sport. Riding is a mental sport, and being strong mentally is often equally as important as being strong physically. Yoga helps to center your focus, relax your body, and prepare you to take on challenges that lie ahead. Yoga also focuses on strength and stretching, leaving you more nimble and easing any pain or tension that may keep you from performing your best. Yoga can improve your balance as a rider, as well, keeping you centered during tough situations. Horses also benefit from balanced riders, helping to resolve any imbalances the horses may have themselves.

4. Cycling

We all know the value of a strong leg and solid core for helping your horse effectively use its hind end and jump clear rounds. Cycling is an excellent exercise to help strengthen your leg muscles and engage your core at the same time. Because it’s such a high-intensity workout, cycling is a great way to get your cardio in, too, increasing your endurance for high-intensity moments in the saddle. Though cycling studios are mostly closed due to COVID-19, there are many ways to get stationary bikes set up in your own home or you can buy a street bike that you can ride (safely, of course) through the hills of your city or town. Pro tip: after an intense cycling session, practice stretching deeply down through your heels with your feet in the “stirrups.” This will loosen your calf muscles and help you keep your heels stretched down next time you sit in the (real) saddle.

5. A personal fitness trainer

Doing the same workout every day or not knowing what workouts are best for your goals are common issues for athletes who work out without supervision. Personal fitness trainers are now as accessible as ever, due to our evolving digital world, so if you have specific goals that you’re not sure how to achieve, look into working with an expert. It doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment; many trainers will teach you work-out circuits to implement on your own, after learning how to do them properly and safely. Though personal trainers are on the more expensive end of workout options, their expertise can be priceless, so if overall fitness for riding is an ultimate goal of yours, do some research about personal fitness trainers that have experience in training equestrian athletes.

7 Tips to Effectively Manage Horses and School

The school year may look different in the fall of 2020, but it doesn’t mean students are any less busy than during a typical school year. From classes and assignments to college applications and outside tutoring sessions, it can be hard to find time to ride and care for horses. BarnManager is here to help you navigate the transition back to school while ensuring your horses’ care and programs don’t slip through the cracks.

1. Enlist a team you trust.

Everyone knows that behind every successful duo in the show ring is a knowledgeable, capable, and devoted team. We’ve all heard the phrase, “it takes a village,” and with horses, it’s no different. From the trainer, to the groom, vet, parent, chiropractor, sibling, and everyone in between, it’s crucial to develop relationships with the team surrounding you and your horse to know he or she is in the best of hands when school gets too demanding. Trusting individuals with your horse’s care will allow you the peace of mind to devote yourself to the most important task at any given moment and not worry about your horse’s care or training.

2. Maintain regular communication.

Even with your team in place, you still need to communicate among all team members to ensure everyone is on the same page and nothing gets overlooked. If you can only come ride two days per week, let the trainer know when you will be there and when you expect your horse to be ridden by someone else. This way, you avoid mix-ups and assumptions that can leave everyone frustrated. Communicate about all the little things, as well, including supplements, vet visits, and other details about which you would like to stay informed.

3. Keep it digital.

We live in a constantly evolving digital world, but we can use technology to our advantage to better track what’s going on with our horses. Using a platform like BarnManager allows for consistent messaging and communication. The advantage to a digital space for communicating is to be able to refer back to a conversation that happened. This way, you won’t wonder if you forgot to mention something to your trainer or groom about your horse, and you will be able to review what your trainer may have already relayed to you.

4. Stay on top of your (and your horse’s) goals.

Have a conversation with your team at the beginning of the school year about your upcoming riding goals. Whether it’s wanting to move up, qualify for finals, or just have a good time getting to know your horse in the show ring, this will adequately prepare everyone to manage time and resources most effectively to accomplish these goals. If you have specific goals in mind for your horse, make sure your trainer knows this from the get-go and be sure to check in on how those goals are progressing throughout the year, even if you can’t be there to see for yourself.

5. Keep watching the sport.

Another benefit of the digital world coming to life in horse sports is the utilization of live streams at competitions across the country. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to ride or compete as frequently, be sure to tune into some live streams when you have time. You can learn so much from watching others navigate a course, and most platforms let you watch for free and even allow replays. If you’re a good multi-tasker, have a competition on in the background while you finish schoolwork; if not, reward yourself for finishing a daunting task by turning on a horse show.

6. Prioritize.

Perhaps the most important, yet most difficult aspect of being a horse owner or rider is prioritizing tasks. Begin each month and each week by analyzing what you have to do and what is most important to you and your personal goals. Do you want to make good grades and get into the college of your dreams? Maybe riding needs to take a back seat. Do you want to qualify for indoors and maybe ride in college one day? Then perhaps riding should play a bigger role in your everyday life. Of course, prioritizing your time is a conversation that must happen with your family and everyone involved in your efforts, both riding-related and academic, but it is important to know what matters most to you, so you can know how to effectively allocate your time.

7. Manage your time.

Perhaps the most important tactic in maintaining good grades while also riding and competing is effective time management. Make every hour count by scheduling your ride times and making efficiency a top priority as you go about your day. If you have a solid grasp on your time and don’t let it slip away chatting with barn friends or scrolling through social media, you’ll have more time in your day to devote to schoolwork and riding. Being a student also requires creative solutions for getting your work done, whether it’s in transit to or from a horse show, in between classes at a show, during free periods at school, or any other pockets of time you can use to your advantage.

Above all, this year is a time to emphasize safety while navigating both school and riding, so be sure not to forget safety protocols when going about your busy days. Focusing on safety, studying, and riding is a tough balance to achieve, but keeping all these factors in mind will help you on the path to accomplishing goals in everything you do.

 

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

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